A report on the independent investigation of expenses claimed by International Business Wales (IBW) staff has been published in full by the Welsh Assembly Government.
The forensic investigation into expenditure was commissioned by Permanent Secretary Dame Gillian Morgan and was conducted by KPMG – one of the UK’s leading providers of professional services.
The auditors examined more than 7,000 transactions in a detailed two-month study.
KPMG were appointed following a competitive tendering process after concerns were raised this summer about claims for expenditure made by some IBW staff.
KPMG’s findings are summarised as follows:
- the majority of procurement card and other transactions examined have been conducted appropriately;
- some policies are not clear enough – particularly for overseas-based staff;
- a proportion may be in breach of policy – 11% of the transactions reviewed;
- a small number are clearly in breach of policy and appropriate action will be taken in those cases.
The 781 transactions (11%) where there may be breaches of policy require follow-up work to determine whether any further action is required if staff have failed to comply with policies and procedures. It is expected that this follow-up investigation will be concluded by Christmas. It should be noted that the report makes clear that where auditors have ruled a transaction to be ‘out of policy’ it may only be a small element of that transaction which is non-compliant.
Dame Gillian Morgan said:
“I accept the conclusions of the KPMG report and welcome the recommendations made. We will work urgently to address issues raised by KPMG and to introduce the changes and improvements needed to strengthen expenditure control procedures. It is vital that we have clear policies and robust systems in place so that Ministers, AMs and the public have confidence in their public servants.”
This report follows an independent review to assess how the Welsh Assembly Government performs its inward investment function compared with competition elsewhere in the UK.
This report sets out KPMG’s examination of expenses incurred by staff of International Business Wales (IBW) in the UK and overseas.